Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy to get into the game

It was about 2002, and I was supposed to cover a college-football game at a local university. That day, I was writing for two newspapers on a freelance basis.

When I got to the game, they wouldn't let me park at the football field, so I drove to a gas station about a half-mile away and hoofed it.

When I got there again, the young woman at the gate wouldn't let me in. They hadn't sent me credentials, so it was up to me to talk my way in. She didn't contest that I was who I said I was, but she wouldn't budge. After about 20 minutes of talking, the young woman said she'd let me in, but she insisted I couldn't get in the pressbox.

I thanked her and took my chances. I went around the football field, climbed over the railing and walked up the steps toward the press box (no one tried to stop me). I told the person guarding the door that I'd like to speak to the sports information director.

She came out and listened to my story, then took me inside, and pointed to a spot she'd saved for me. It said "Baltimore Sun." I had to climb over the back row to get in my seat, but that was no big deal.

If I'd seen that young woman at the gate again, I wouldn't have said "I told you so"; she was just doing her job. But I was thrilled to get in.

Had she known, she would have been shocked how easy it was; the hard part was getting past her. (I wonder if she was watching when I entered the pressbox; she wasn't at the gate when I left.)


Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

Entries from The Dog Blog

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

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